Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: comtemplating contentedness
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We're having some problems with ds, age 6, and I hope someone has some advice.
First, he is rarely satisfied or happy with anything. He looks forward to things-computer time, trips, playdates, dessert-but when they come, he is almost always dissapointed. For instance, if we spent the day at the beach, he would complain that he didn't get to play with the neighbor boy. We try really hard not to talk things up, because we know he is always let down. We've talked about having a happy heart, contendedness, etc, and we've read the Berenstain Bears get the Gimmies, in which the cubs learn that bears that can't find happiness unless they get everything they want will never be happy at all. I know he gets the message, and he tries. He'll say "It's so bad that Joey didn't come to my birthday, but I guess I should be happy since Papa came." He says what he thinks we want to hear, but it's obvious that he feels dissapointed. I know some people are just the glass is half empty kind of people, but how can he ever find any hapiness in his life?
Theother issue we are having is that he freaks out whenever he is faced with any kind of choice. It goes like this:
ME-Do you want oatmeal or pancakes for breakfast?
ME-I don't have time for both this morning, so you have to choose. How about oatmeal today, pancakes tomorrow?
HIM-Oooooh, what will I pick? What should I do? There's no good choice at all! Oh no, I'm running out of time to choose! What do I do? Oh, what do I do? (starts to cry) I can't choose....What should I pick?
This happens over every choice. It's not an act. He is truly distraught. Of course, we've stopped asking over things like breakfast-it isn't worth the trouble. Still, there are some things he must choose, like how to spend his free time. I won't allow aboth a video and computer time in the same day, so he has to choose. Also, he has a choice about his toys. If he wants to keep them in his room and play with them whenever he wants, he has to keep them picked up himself. Or he can put them on the shelf downstairs and have to ask to play with them, but then he gets mom and dad's help picking them up. He's not in trouble either way, but it requires a choice. Once he's begun the choice anxiety thing, there's no talking him out of it. It's like he's in a diffrerent world. If you make the choice for him, it's as if he can't hear you at all-he just continues with "What will I dooooo?" I'm not sure what to do either.